Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    December 22, 2012 7:30pm-8:00pm PST

7:30 pm
because to grab a bar, you know, if you weigh 250 you may have a worse accident. then i suggest to have a no pay permit, that means they file a form 8 and then there's a minimum, $500 or less permit, then to go through the process because you don't need to go through planning and all those only if the building department charge a minimum charge for the permit only. you want to say something? >> as a point of information, i just asked deputy director dan lowry what he would approximate for a simple installation and he said about $250 for the cost of the permit. that's an approximate without having specifics. >> yeah, that sounds like that's more than what it could
7:31 pm
be. >> that's per closet? >> that would be for the permit, not the cost of materials or labor. >> my point is it sounds like it would cost more to pull the permit than to actually do the work. >> commissioner walker. >> i think -- i would suggest these are issues that we prioritize and we do what we can to limit the cost to the owners of the residential hotels as a way of encouraging them to do it. so i think that, i would feel that that would be something that would do is to limit the cost of the permit. personally. >> let me add, i just mentioned that because -- i'll let the staff decide and figure it out and make a proposal, but the whole point is that i don't want to see us implementing this and then have the permitting issue be a
7:32 pm
discouragement to the property owners. we want these people to come forward to get the permits and get it done correctly. we don't want to discourage them. i can see where the property owner would say, gee, it will cost me more to get a permit than it actually costs to do the work. >> i would be more than happy to work with director hue and carla and dan lowry on a standard permit fee so it's consistent with the building code fee schedule. we can definitely look at that and see what we can come up with for possibly a standard fee for a simple application, but it will depend upon the estimated cost of work, et cetera. but we can definitely look at that. i think that's a great idea. >> obviously it has to match the -- this is probably getting off track here. i know commissioner -- one of the
7:33 pm
supervisors had a signed ordinance and you got a free permit if you did something within a certain number of months, i don't know. when we do come across those difficult installations, obviously no fault of anybody, just the nature of the building, and it turns into a pretty monumental job just to put the simple -- let's say all the wall has to be done and so on. that 6 month period obviously is going to take longer now. i'm sure you have something built in for people who are trying to do the right thing but because it turns into a job that's more than what they first thought, that 6 months would be extended if they need it but they are trying to do the right thing. >> with respect to the code enforcement, which i believe that question addresses, if the property owner is in good faith, trying to comply, has a
7:34 pm
permit, we would not do code enforcement against that individual because that's our tip situation to give them sufficient time to be able to resolve the issues inherent with adding something retroactively to a very old building. if they have not attempted anything after 6 months, we are still going to be in the outreach portion of this up until that period of time. we're going to give them one last bit of encouragement to get the process started, but if in that situation nothing happened, then we might do some code enforcement. but if they are in good faith making the effort, got the permit or they are doing analysis to see how they are going to do it, that type of situation, then we are not going to write a notice of violation in that situation. >> commissioner lee has a question. >> i think that was an excellent question that commissioner lee raised and i'm sure we'll be talking about it more. i'm sure we make sure,
7:35 pm
because permits will be required, our building inspectors will inspect the plan after? >> once you pull the permit you have the building inspector to check out the grab bar (inaudible) or not. >> commissioners, have we any more questions? seeing none -- commissioner walker. >> is this an action item? >> this is an action item, yes. i think we have public comment first, though. madam secretary there. >> is there any public comment on item no. 5? >> good morning, commissioners, my name is josh vining, i'm an organizor with the mission street collaborative. i wanted to say
7:36 pm
thanks for taking the time to talk about these issues. they sound like very commonsense issues but once we get into the issues it becomes more complicated. i wanted to step back and talk about the survey we conducted in 2011 and some of the responses we got from that. we surveyed 151 seniors or people with disabilities who lived in sro's city-wide and 68 percent of them were tenants who lived in nonprofit sro's, which are more likely to have these grab bars already installed than their private counterparts but even with that, we found less than 40 percent of tenants indicated they currently have grab bars, which is not nearly enough considering that many of the private buildings we had issues with barriers and even getting in. we expect that
7:37 pm
number city-wide to be a lot higher. i also just wanted to say about tenants. i did outreach on a weekly basis and i hear from tenants all the time that they are afraid of slipping and falling in the shower. they are having a hard time geting off the toilet which in many cases are in strange positions close to the wall, further away from the wall, i get that feedback all the time. one tenant i see all the time that i saw last week she has her ihss case worker sit right outside the bathroom while she takes her shower because she is afraid she will fall and won't be able to call out for the help she needs if she falls. i do understand there is a cost associated with this but i think it is a very small cost in comparison to the increased safety the tenants will have in their bathrooms and their homes. as we look at the population of people who live
7:38 pm
in sro's, people are aging in place. some people really do like their homes and try to make the modifications to stay there, but the reality also in this market, especially in the mission district where i do the outreach, there's not a lot of options for renters. there's not a lot of options for low income people and the way our rent ordinance is in san francisco, someone moved into a building 15 years ago and was able to walk up and down 4 flights of steps and was able to take a shower in the existing facilities, that may not still be the case today. keep in mind that people can't pick up and move and can't go and find other housing options that meet their needs as they age. also just in addition to that i think there was less talk about the phones and the phone jacks, but i think that it's really important to take into consideration there's already very limited mail delivery in these buildings and that a telephone, a low-cost telephone, is a key life line
7:39 pm
for communication for tenants who are often times isolated. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> good morning, commissioners, good morning, president mccarthy, my name is antonio naubl naul (inaudible) and i'm a resident of san francisco since 1997. i was invited by josh, doing an outstanding job for the community, for the mission. i am here in support of grab bar and phone jack. i have phone jack in my bedroom even though i live in one of the crappiest hotels in san francisco, the mission hotel. of 151 respondents, about 72 of them
7:40 pm
surveyed did not have grab bars in their common toilet and bathing facilities. i think from safety standpoint, safety can be improved for seniors by installing grab bars by toilets and showers. the cost of installation, it is my understanding is probably lower than the permit itself so it will have a huge impact on safety for many seniors and people with disabilities. therefore, i support this legislation. i was discussing with josh about prop n, care not crush amendment. there are a lot of falls -- faults on that ordinance. there should be
7:41 pm
more accountability to case management. costs go to the owners of the hotels but if we make an amendment on prop n i think services for the tenants will be better, especially when the landlord is not linked to organize it or organizations because there is a conflict when the tenant has a problem in his hotel going to the tenant rights organization that represents the tenants and also the landlords. so it doesn't make a lot of sense. i don't want to name organizations that do that, but do something we can change to improve case management services and property management. >> thank you for your comments. next speaker. >> my name is michael
7:42 pm
harrington, i'm here with the mission street collaborative. dolores street. i think all sro's should have grab bars in the bathrooms and buildings should be equipped with working phone jacks in each room. there's a senior disabled lady who lives in my building who has two times slipped in the shower, busted her head open, had to go to the hospital. the next time she had a black eye. the grab bars, it could have really helped from her hurting herself. i'm disabled myself, i have had two ankle surgeries, they had reconstructed my ankle, and we didn't have grab bars in the bathroom so i had to hobble and hold on to the wall and it's kind of hard. i can't run any more, i can't
7:43 pm
play sports. i do outreach work in the sro hotels in the mission and most of the bathrooms that i have looked at do not have grab bars and a lot of people are asking for them, so also phone jacks for each room is crucial. so, yes, i am in support for the seniors and disability campaign. it is very important to have these two items implemented into law in addition to grab bars and phone jacks i would like to see working elevators in every building that has more than one floor. plus you can't put a price on someone's safety and health for grab bars, which will be very inexpensive. thank you. >> thank you for your
7:44 pm
comments. next speaker. >> good morning, my name is dan jordan, i'm a peer councilor with the sro collaborative. as a peer councilor, the first person the tenants come in to see is us. we get many complaints about bathrooms being unsafe to use. myself, i live in a sro hotel. i know in my building the floors in the showers and outside the shower stalls are real smooth tile. we have no grab bars and my landlord says absolutely not, they are not going to put them in unless it's made mandatory. they would save a lot of money and so would probably the city and other services such as medicare, medical, if these grab bars were installed. we would have fewer people going to the hospital and it's just vitally necessary to have them
7:45 pm
as well as phone jacks in the rooms. there's only 5 or 6 people in our building that have phones because management and owners won't put in phone jacks. they say you want a phone, you pay the cost. we're not going to. so -- and most of the people in the building are on limited income like social security, ssi, that kind of thing, can't afford the $150 to $200 to install a phone jack just to have a phone. so i'm pleading with you, please help us get this legislation passed so we can be safe. thank you. >> thank you for your comments. >> good morning, commissioners, my name is steven tennis and i work with a
7:46 pm
central city sro collaborative. i am a preparedness organizor for the collaborative and i hold one hour workshops for the hotels under their umbrella. what i was going to speak about was personal stories but i kind of changed my mind. what i am most concerned about is code enforcement. i have lived in sro's, i'm sad to say, for a little over 22 years and i could go back in time, there has been absolutely no change in the living conditions in sro's in 22 years and often times what i hear the reason why is code enforcement. there aren't enough people to go out and check the sro's because the number of sro's so work is delayed or again there just aren't enough inspectors. and that's unfortunate. the other thing is to -- code violation, if there is enough
7:47 pm
teeth in the violation to make it mandatory that the owners do the work like with grab bars, i'm not worried about the nonprofits, what i'm concerned with are the privately owned sro's. those are the people that charge three to four hundred dollars a week for living conditions that i wouldn't have a dog live in, yet human beings here in san francisco do. and it's appalling. and i would just urge each and every one of you it not look at photographs of sro's, private sro's, but to go to one or two and see exactly what we're talking about. it would be an eye-opening experience, believe me. thank you for your time, i really do appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. >> thank you for your comments. next speaker. >> commissioners, spencer gash
7:48 pm
again, i'm here to speak as a member of the public. i would like to compliment commissioner mar and his perceptive comments. if we're going to have a set design for these grab bars, normally the routine is an outside engineer designs it and our engineers approve it and liability is on the outside engineer. if we're going to have liability i think it should be carefully vetted by a team of engineers, have a high safety factor in structural design and that it have durability and sanitation addressed. >> thank you. next speaker. seeing none. >> john malmouth from the city attorney's office. i was going
7:49 pm
to suggest as part of the commission's consideration that you address the fee issue that came up. seems to be some consensus on that, that that might be something that you could delegate to the staff to find an appropriate fee structure. if you do that now it would potentially avoid having the legislation come back to you after that is addressed by the board of supervisors. >> you know, my comment there, this is a good outreach program. i don't know why we can't have a certain period of -- i don't know how the acting director feels about this or dan, but why we can't have no fee for this for a certain period to encourage hotels to move forward. but that might be outside our privy. but at least structure a fee that's a flat fee, a not to exceed fee.
7:50 pm
>> i remember we actually did this for small businesses when we were trying to encourage them to change their signage. >> yeah, that was the one --. >> in certain districts but i don't see why we can't make this particular situation city-wide. also i think the timing would be good. we could say we would wave it maybe for 30 days as soon as the wltion is passed, which would encourage landlord to want to just do it, to get a break if they do it within the first month, even though it's a 6-month period, that we would wave it then and i would defer to the staff on making what would be cost effective to try to lower it thereafter. >> deputy director sweeney may want to weigh in here. >> listening to the proceeding i would figure there would be
7:51 pm
two inspections, one to check that the block, the backing was put in correctly, and then the final. that would be two inspections. it would be up to the commission to see. >> do we have any mechanism in place now where we could just say, okay, it's a $25 or a $50 flat fee for that? >> the cheapest permit's 360. >> 360 bucks. so there is no mechanism in place. >> that's correct. . >> also commissioner mar mentioned about legislation passed for the ordinance, aupbing and all those is from the board of supervisors but i don't know we can wave the fee as such. the city attorney can address that point because i know i don't have the power.
7:52 pm
>> maybe we can suggest the board do it. if the board can do it --. >> nick, can you weigh in on this on the legislation at this point? >> if this kind of amendment could be added to the language. >> certainly we would like to see cost recovery and any action the city takes -- however in this case the benefits of the legislation and the cost that would be saved, especially in visits to our emergency rooms outweigh any cost recovery so i think we would certainly look at that and we would implement for maybe 30 days where landlords could come in. >> maybe 60, if you are going to do it, do it right. so would this play out so you just take our recommendations implement that that we don't have to revisit this again?
7:53 pm
>> we would prefer that, absolutely. the earliest we could take this before the lan use committee is the middle of january, january the 14th. >> but you don't have to bring it back here in front of us. >> if we can implement it without having to bring it back, yes. >> i move that we support this legislative action and we suggest the board look at reducing the permit or eliminating it for the two-month period to encourage the owners of these buildings to do the work. >> i'm sorry, deborah, just a point of clarification. you said reducing the permit, you mean reducing the permit fee? >> sorry, commissioner lee. >> i would suggest that. i think any late property owners applying will pay the full fee and maybe we can recoup part of
7:54 pm
that. >> see how they feel at the end of the day it's all good work if they buy into this. >> absolutely. >> sorry, commissioner lee. >> i just want to encourage some of the previous speakers, please come back in a couple months because i think a lot of times, no disrespect to the legislature, we pass legislation and it makes everybody feel good but i am really interested in the implementation. so please come and tell us that the phone jacks are in or not, or the grab bars are in or not, and that it's working. and if it's not then hold us accountable for the violations and, you know, let us know that this is happening and hopefully with the incentive, the fee waivers,
7:55 pm
people will get it done. but i would really like to reinvite everybody back in a couple months and let us know what's going on. thank you very much. >> thank you. so we need to take that vote now, right? john, would you frame that there, then? or do you want commissioner walker to frame it again? >> john howard from the city attorney's office. what i heard was that the motion would be to recommend the board adopt the legislation and the bic acknowledges and recommends that a program be developed where there might be some period of time where fees are waived entirely and that beyond that the fees would be worked out in a way that would encourage the hotel users to install the facilities. >> but in a certain period of
7:56 pm
time, though, the fee waiver would be --. >> time limited. >> to be determined. okay, i second that. any objections? seeing none. >> on that motion. (roll taken). >> the motion carries unanimously. item no. 6, discussion and possible action to update
7:57 pm
current administrative bulletin ab-007, high top van parking quifl facilitation. >> before you is a change to administrative ab-007. the code has changed and the wording, the present code does not mention high top vans any longer. if you are to build a new building now, you would need to have the 98 inch or 8 foot 2 or all accessible parking. so this is just to bring the current code language and the administrative bulletin in line in existing buildings, not new buildings, but existing
7:58 pm
buildings we can continue to use the existing van spacings that are in the buildings for parking, for the van parking, and it would meet the equivalent -- it would be equivalent to facilitation for existing buildings the way we do it now. that's really what the language is about. >> okay, thank you for updating us on that. do we have to take action on that? no? okay. >> i believe there is action authority, wasn't listed that way, but it is an action item. >> so we'll take public comment first, then. >> is there public comment on item 7? seeing none, is there a motion to approve the administrative bulletin ab-007? >> if there's no objection.
7:59 pm
>> someone --. >> i move to approve. >> second. >> there is a motion and a second and i'll do the roll call vote. the motion carries. >> item no. 7, discussion on progress of recruitment for executive search firm regarding hiring of a permanent director for the department. >> okay, commissioners, thank you. we have a short presentation to hear ted yamagaki was supposed to be